Jawan killings: Pak suspends bus service

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 09:33 hrs

Amid rising tensions over border firing and killing of two Indian soldiers, Pakistan has suspended the Poonch-Rawalakot bus service for three days, media reports said on Friday.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister AK Antony on Friday said the ceasefire violations were ´ a major cause of concern´.

"We are taking it seriously," Antony told reporters.

Meanwhile, India on Friday said Pakistan continued to violate ceasefire norms along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir by resorting to firing in the Poonch and Mendhar sectors since Thursday, including during the night for hours.

Media reports quoting Indian army said small arm firing was carried out by Pakistan for nearly five hours though no one was injured on the Indian side.

Pakistan on the other hand claimed that it lost one of its soldiers in the firing from Indian side and blamed India for creating provocation.

Tension between the two nuclear armed neighbours heightened over border firing and killing of two Indian soldiers, including the beheading of one of the martyrs by Pakistan.

Pakistan has, however, denied it beheaded an Indian soldier.

Earlier on Thursday, India said 26/11 mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed was spotted in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) a few days back, indicating that he could be behind the attack on Indian soldiers and beheading of a trooper along the Kashmir border this week.

Shinde confirmed that in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) area, 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed was present three four days back and talked with people, thus not completely ruling out Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) involvement on the border attack and LeT´s links with Pakistan army.

He, however, refused to comment on the matter directly.

However, despite growing tensions over the issue, Shinde said India will not cancel the new visa agreement it has entered with Pakistan and it will be carried out as per schedule.

"Whatever agreement we had entered that will be carried out," Shinde told reporters on Thursday.

Shinde and Pakistan Interior Minister A. Rehman Malik last month jointly operationalized the new Visa Agreement between the two countries.

National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon on Thursday said there has been an increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan over the last one year.

Speaking to media after BRICS Meeting of High Representatives on National Security here, Menon said: "There has been an increase in ceasefire violations. There been an increase in infiltration attempts, not only in the last few months."

"In 2012 there was an increase overall over 2011. That is a fact. And that is something we are dealing with, both ourselves and with the Pakistani authorities," he said.

Reacting to the recent killings of two Indian Army jawans by the Pakistani Army in Jammu and Kashmir, the NSA said: "I think it is quite clear. Government has said what it has to say on the event. You have a selection of adjectives - reprehensible, barbaric, dastardly, whatever you want."

"Sadly, it is not the first time this has happened. I hope it never happens again," he said.

India has also rejected Pakistan´s suggestion that the incident should be investigated by the United Nations (UN).

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday negated India´s claims that the Pakistani Army killed two Indian Army jawans in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to a news channel in India, she said Pakistan was ready for a third party to verify their claims if "India doesn´t believe in its inquiry".

"We have ordered an independent investigation, but we are offering more, let a third party investigate the issue," Khar said.

The US has also asked the two neighbouring nations to resolve the issue through dialogue.

The Pakistani troops reportedly came about 100 metres into Indian territory in Poonch sector and attacked the patrol party early on Tuesday morning.

The body of one of the soldiers was decapitated and was found without the head.

India said Poonch Incident is a ´Provocative Action´ by Pakistan.

"The government of India considers the incident as a provocative action and we condemn it. DGMOs of the two countries are in touch over it. The government will take up the incident with the Pakistan Government. We expect Islamabad to honour the ceasefire agreement strictly," India´s defence ministry earlier said.

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